Festivals of Wine, Food and More – not to be missed!
The Wine, Olive & Heritage Festival – WO&H
The Wine, Olive & Heritage Festival is a recently introduced annual event held in the early summer. Its main aim is to promote local produce in the framework of the famous ‘Mediterranean Diet’, In the UNESCO description “The Mediterranean diet emphasizes values of hospitality, neighbourliness, intercultural dialogue and creativity, and a way of life guided by respect for diversity. It plays a vital role in cultural spaces, festivals and celebrations, bringing together people of all ages, conditions and social classes.” Local wines and olive oils are an important focus of the festival, providing visitors with the chance to get to know some of the best of the island’s output.
Within the festival, local people present their creative ideas and all kinds of products and souvenirs. Visitors are given a glimpse into the life of the island, its traditions and aspirations.
During the week of the festival there are organised trips to some of Hvar’s best wineries, olive oil mills and family farms (OPG). On the final two days there is a gastro event in the Jelsa Park.
The full programme for this year’s event will be published in good time in the ‘Events‘ section of the website.
The official festival #hashtag is: #najbojeodHvara #JelsaWOH
The Wine Festival – Fešta vina
This annual event was first held in 1952 on the initiative of Jelsa’s Cooperative Union association (Zadružnog saveza Jelsa), under the title District Social Rally; in 1954 it was called The Community Day, while from 1956 on it was known mainly as the Wine Fair or the Community Rally. In 1956 the Wine Fair was held on August 14th, which was declared Jelsa’s Tourist Day.
Now the Wine Festival has returned to its original intentions – as a merry showcase promoting Hvar’s wines, especially the best of them which are produced in the area around Jelsa, a fertile area for growing grapes, where different producers work to their own theories, resulting in a delightful variety of red and white wines, ‘opolo’ rosés and prošek (sweet dessert wine). Over the last thirty years, these wines have distinguished themselves, winning prizes in competitions and delighting Jelsa’s visitors, who have the chance at the Wine Festival to taste the various wines and appreciate the differences between those produced on Hvar’s southern slopes, Jelsa’s valleys and hillsides or fields by the sea.
The two-day Festival offers a diversity of entertainments. There are various sports and fun competitions, often including a water polo match in the harbour, a rowing competition, international regattas, as well as the special highlight, a competition in which participants have to climb a 10-metre pole to reach and bring down a whole smoked ham.
It goes without saying that ample food is available throughout, and there are concerts by the Jelsa Cultural-Artistic Society, local and guest klapa harmony singing groups, and performances by famous artistes. Not to mention a magnificent fireworks display. With its wide variety of fun events for the whole family, the Wine Festival is a high point in jelsa’s summer tourist season.
The Wine Festival normally takes place over two or three days up to the last weekend of August. The full programme is published in good time in the website’s ‘Events‘ section.
Pictured: wine tasting in Jelsa’s Park